Blue ear pig disease could damage the stability of China’s pork market if the disease is not properly controlled, said Sun Zhengcai, China’s agriculture minister.
In a speech, Zhengcai urged local authorities to step up the fight against blue ear pig disease. He said local authorities need to take measures to ban slaughtering, sales and transport of sick pigs.
However, industry officials said that farmers, who do not receive any compensation for destroying sick pigs, could easily sell the meat at markets due to lack of supervision.
Blue ear pig disease is estimated to have killed up to million pigs in the past year. It is caused by a variation of the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) virus. It causes stillbirths in pigs, fever, loss of appetite, diarrhoea and redness of the skin.
The agriculture ministry said authorities would start to immunise pigs in key areas later this month.